Life Stress and Yoga
Yesterday was an awful day. Big itty bitty was in trouble at school. Hubby and I fought about it. And I was upset. So upset that I couldn't function like my every day self. Very basic functioning. I didn't do a practice yesterday. My heart and body were not in it. I just couldn't drag myself to the mat yesterday. I could barely drag myself off the couch. The dramatic stress response has since passed, and today I did my practice. I wasn't too sure about doing it today either. I was still pee-oed! But I wasn't curl-up-in-a-ball and fade out the world type stressed. I felt ready. I got my mat, and I got to business.
At first, I was just sort of going through the motions. Don't get me wrong, I was making my best attempt. I was doing my deep breaths. 'Pranayama', as it's called in Yoga. Then at about 20 minutes in I started to feel the difference. The change. Pranayama is very powerful. I really don't know the technicalities of it, but the different kinds of breathing throughout your practice make all the difference. The deep belly and diaphragm breaths in at the start, the slow and maintained breaths throughout, and the heavy Yoga mouth breaths out as the end (releasing all your tension). It works a little bit of magic. Concentrated breathing is very powerful. It brings you back to center*.
When I did body building, it was an easy task for me to get into it when I was upset. It provided that emphatic release. PIck up heavy thing. Put down heavy thing. Pound chest. Roar! I got out my pent up aggression that way sometimes. I felt strong and powerful by the end of it, and the original anger, usually diminished though not eradicated, was satiated for a bit.
Yoga is a different ballgame. You don't 'attack' it. You can't throw your mat down, jump into childs pose, and fist pump the floor. That's just not the energy expanded with Yoga. We calmly go to our mat, and begin softly, building up the practice to the fire of what we're comfortable with. (Not a fire like a 200 lb squat, more like glowing embers). We don't start with fire. Hence it's a bit harder to get to the mat when you're stressed, upset, mad, or sad. For this reason, yesterday it was a challenge to get to my mat.
But, I got there today. You just have to listen to your body. This is the other premise of the Asana's. Your body tells you what it needs. What it's capable of. You listen to it. You give in to it. You appreciate it. You go to your mat when you are able to do these things. If you're too stressed to be in the here and now for your practice, wait it out. It's alright. Your body is telling you what it needs. You'll get back to the mat. Just be in the moment exactly how you are. Trust that your body is telling you.
Today's Asana: Happy Baby / Ananda BalasanaI
Let's de-stress with this pose today! I just love the name of this one. How fun, right?! With this pose, you lay on your back. Comfortably. Fold your knees to your chest and wrap your arms around your legs. Then you can gently rock side to side. For some fun (or at least I think it's fun 😁) and if you're able, stretch your legs out (like you're forming a V shape). Hold your feet or calves with your hands and rock side to side. I'd say the purpose for this pose is fairly explicit in the name. It's a calming pose for the end of your practice, and its essence is being happy.
Like this happy baby! Teeheehee
Yoga For Thought
"It isn't life that weighs us down, it's the way we carry it" - Elizabeth Potier
*Center: God center, spiritual center, heart center, soul, grounded, focused. It means to be back in touch with your body, releasing earthly tensions, and feeling peace and clarity.
Peace Friends 💜